In conversation with Minoo Mumtaz

April 26, 2013

Wishing her Happy 71st Birthday on April 26, 2013

Minoo MumtazI am not a journalist, nor am I in a line which should bring me anywhere near film people. Yet, here I was having a relaxed conversation with Minoo Mumtaz in her apartment in Pune, a few months back. Some stories are epic in scale. This one had its beginning on the other side of the globe, about a year back, when I had gone for a conference in Toronto, Canada.

When we travel on work we try to mix business with pleasure, which normally means half a day or a day out for sight-seeing. After my conference was over, my flight back home was the next day evening, which gave me plenty of time to travel to Niagara. My local hosts had mentioned that AJ himself, the owner of the AJ Transport Company, whose transport was hired, would be driving me, and that he was a nephew of Mehmood. This was interesting, but it was said in a way as if he was just one among a whole lot of Mehmood clan.

A day out with Minoo Mumtaz’s son Ajaz Ali (AJ)

When it turned out that AJ was the son of Minoo Mumtaz, and she lived with him in Toronto, I felt bad that I came to know of this link too late, otherwise I would have much rather spent my spare time with her – I had been to Niagara earlier.

AJ himself is a fantastic person. Not only he has a successful car rental business, he runs an old age home in Niagara, and with its residents he shares a very apparent mutual affection. He is a thorough Niagara man – he shows you around a Niagara which is much more than the touristy Falls. The Falls are obviously awesome, but he knows Niagara’s other beautiful water bodies, picnic spots, restaurants, wineries, the world’s largest open butterfly park, and the picture postcard town Niagara-on-the-Lake, a few miles down from the Falls (it reminded me of Burton-on-Water in the Cotswold area, Oxford) – AJ takes you to spots where Lonely Planet cannot reach.

My first sentence to him on knowing that he was Minoo Mumtaz’s son was ‘So, saqiya aaj mujhe need nahi ayegi’. That opened the floodgates, whenever he was not able to answer my queries, he would call up his Mom. Sweet! You can see he is very articulate – in this short video recorded at ‘Guru’, one of his favourite restaurants, owned by one Anitaji (naturally his friend, who in Niagara is not?), he talks about the history of his family. It starts with Mumtaz Ali, Mehmood and Minoo Mumtaz’s father, and AJ’s Nana. We know of Mumtaz Ali as a famous actor of the vintage era. But what may not be known, as I piece together from what AJ told me, is that the child Mumtaz Ali, when he could no longer take the atrocities of his step-sister, one day ran away from his home in Saudi Arabia, and escaped in a vessel. On waking up he found himself at the Gateway of India in Bombay, and started to eke out a living as thousands of street children do. One Horniman Saheb took a liking for him and brought him up. He was a poet in theatre, and thus started Mumtaz’s entry into theatre and films. Mumtaz Ali had four sons and four daughters, one of whom is Minoo and another was Mehmood. With Mumtaz Ali, the daughter Minoo started travelling for theatre shows. Her dancing talent was recognized early. In one of her travels to Madras, the scion of Arcot family met and liked her, and thus it was that she was married to Syed Ali Akbar.

 

Some trivia about Mehmood narrated by AJ.  Mehmood struggled in life to make both ends meet – he would sell candies and do mimicry in trains. But when he became famous, even big stars were scared to act opposite him as he would steal the scene. Raj Kapoor refused to work with him after Parvarish, except for a two-seconds’ appearance together in Abdullah. AJ’s father directed Mamu’s (Mehmood’s) first production Chhote Nawab.

AJ then takes me to his favourite view point, some 15 kilometres down the Falls, and talks some more about his mother’s career and life. For the first time I came to know that she was the leading lady in Black Cat. And in a great coincidence, on my return, Zee Classic was showing Black Cat! I could catch only parts of it, but yes I did get to see Main tumhi se poochhti hun. She is thoroughly convincing as a heroine in this and other songs in the film. Her first film was Sakhi Hatim starring Daljit and Chitra. Her last film was Palki. Her other notable films are Chirag Kahan Roshani Kahan, Gharana, Taj Mahal, Howrah Bridge, besides the well known Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam.

 

With this much information, which was mostly new for me, I was ready to do a post on Minoo Mumtaz. Ever since I took notice of her in Saqiya aaj mujhe neend nahi ayegi, I had been fascinated by her, and I had started making a mental note of her other outstanding dance-songs. There was no particular reason for the delay, except that once in a while I would write to AJ if he could send me some more current material and photographs of hers. Then when I was least expecting, I got a mail from him that she was going to be in Pune for some time, and gave me her contact number. This was a stroke of great luck, because in the next few days I was to travel to Pune on work. So, in another mixing of business with pleasure, I landed at her apartment in Pune, where she received me with great kindness and charm. She was very spontaneous and spoke freely about the fascinating history of her family, her career and her present – most of which, I believe, would be coming in the public domain for the first time.

Minoo Mumtaz ki kahani unki zubani

“BG Horniman Saheb adopted my father, who was castaway at Gateway of India in a ship from Saudi Arabia. Daddy’s real name was Anwar Ali, but Horniman Saheb gave him the name, Mumtaz Ali (reasons not clear). Horniman Saheb used to bring out a famous newspaper.

“Dance was in my Daddy’s DNA. Bombay those days had a large number of theatre groups, where Daddy started dancing. Mr Horniman was not pleased, but looking at Daddy’s passion he agreed.

(AJ’s account that Mr Horniman was a poet in theatre is at slight variance with his mother’s that he was a journalist.  Please see the Note at the end.)

“Daddy was married when he was 16 and my Mummy was 11. She bore her first child when she was 14. Thereafter, one after the other, the children just kept coming. The only reasonable gap was after Usman Bhai, when I was born three years after him. We are eight brothers and sisters. The eldest, Hussaini Begum, went to Pakistan, where she passed away recently. The second was Mehmood Bhai, next was Hetunissa, thereafter, Usman Ali. After him I was born, my real name was Malika Begum. After me came, Zubeida Begum, then Shaukat Ali, and the last, Anwar Ali.

“Daddy was the first person to introduce dance into films. Devika Rani took a great liking for him, and employed him in the Bombay Talikes. His dance in the song Main to Dilli se dulhan laya re became a roaring hit.

“Among my brothers and sisters, I was the first to come into films. Soon after me came Mehmood Bhai. Anwar Ali was also into films, producing films like Khuda Gawah.

“My first film was Sakhi Hatim (1955) with Daljit and Chitra. In this film I did not have any dance. My role was of a jalpari. But dance was in my blood. I had learnt dancing from Daddy, who also used to teach many girls at our house. Kuldeep Kaur noticed me on the sets of Sakhi Hatim, and knowing that I was Mumtaz Ali’s daughter, asked me if I would like to dance. This is what I wanted. My first dance was in the film Miss Coca Cola. The next was Society. Thereafter, my dance duet with Helen in Halaku became very famous, in which I beat her in competition. I became famous as a dancer, and I got dancing roles in many films.

“Then I said, bahut dance hua, mujhe role chahiye. I started getting comedy roles with all the top comedians of the time – Johnny Walker, Om Prakash, Sundar Uncle and even Mehmood Bhai. With Mehmood Bhai in Howrah Bridge, I had a romantic role, and we acted and danced quite freely to a duet. But there was a great deal of protest from the public, how can brother and sister romance? Then I said, Lo Bhaijan, ho gayi chhutti, ab se hum sirf bhai bahan ka role karenge.

“I was opposite Johnny Walker in many films. In Kagaz Ke Phool I was with him in the song Humko pyar karna mangta. I also had a song with him in Paigham. In CID, Boojh mera kya gaon re on me is very famous. There was a duet with Madhubala and me in Insan Jaag Utha – Janu janu re – when the two sahelis tease each other about their love affair.

“Then I got tired of comedy roles or dances. I got the side heroine’s role in Chirag Kahan Roshani Kahan, in which two songs were picturised on me. My first film as a heroine was Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke. Then came Black Cat. Thereafter, I had lead roles in Ghar Ghar Ki Baat and Ghar Basa Ke Dekho.

“I was a great fan of Dara Singh, and had a desire to work with him, which was fulfilled in 1962 when I got a role opposite him as a heroine.

“I was married in 1963. My last film was Palki. It was four years into making, and my first two children – Ajaz and Mehnaz – were born while I was working in the film. This created a lot of difficulties. At times I had shootings eighth month into pregnancy. The Director would handle the situation by creating a scene that Jonnny Walker ke ghar mein khushi aa rahi hai. Later my two younger daughters, Shehnaz and Gulnaz, were born.

“About ten years back, a big tumour of four inches was detected in my brain. The doctor said that it had been sitting there for the last fifteen years, and growing. It came as a big shock. I had never felt anything wrong, I was absolutely normal until one day suddenly I blacked out. I started losing my vision, I lost my memory, I could not recognize anyone. I was operated by Dr Jha of Bombay. The doctor was not sure what would happen to me. My children bid me good bye, because they thought Mummy would not come back. When I came out of the OT, I could see. Suddenly I started remembering everything. My head was all opened up; it still has a long stitching mark. I have come back from the dead, and by the grace of God I am all right.

“Now we live in Canada. All my children are married and settled in Canada. I maintain my links with India. I spend six months in India – I have rented an apartment in Bombay and this one in Pune. Whenever I come to Bombay I do make it a point to meet up with old friends, Nanda, Shyama and Waheeda Rahman. We have a great time together. I spend some time in Bangalore, where Mehmood Bhai’s son Lucky Ali lives. We also visit Hyderabad, where my husband Syed Akbar Ali’s relatives live. By the grace of God, we are very happy.”

At the end of our conversation she agreed to record a small clipping, even though she was not in the best of health. This short video, along with the transcript of our conversation above, would give you an idea of the person – she is sincere, joyous and charming, with an innate goodness.

 

While leaving the apartment complex, I came across her husband, Syed Akbar Ali, who was just coming in. I was able to exchange some pleasantries; he is the kind of person who impresses you in the very first meeting – a thorough gentleman.

I had come across some very unpleasant piece on the internet about Mumtaz Ali. It is heartening to meet one branch of his, which is so well adjusted, nice and happy. As she celebrates her 71st birthday today (she was born on April 26, 1942), now back in Canada with her family, let me give her my very best wishes and thank her for meeting me. Let me also greet and thank the wonderful AJ and Syed Akbar Ali

Now some great songs picturised on Minoo Mumtaz, some of which were especially recommended by her to me.

1. Aji chale aao aji chale aao tumhein ankhon se dil mein bulaya by Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle from Halaku (1956), lyrics Shailendra, music Shankar Jaikishan

Minoo Mumtaz made a special mention of this song as one of the first songs which made her famous, in which she beats Helen in the dance competition. Shankar Jaikishan are the masters of such dance songs based on folk, or at times, West Asian tunes, and this song has long been my personal favourite. Later they would create several exquisite dance solos and duets in a similar style in Yahudi and many other films. A great favourite of mine.

 

2. Boojh mera kya gaon re by Shamshad Begum from C.I.D. (1956), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri, music OP Nayyar

The impish Minoo Mumtaz, and joyous and full throated Shamshad Begum – one cannot ask for a better combination.  This is a stock style of Guru Dutt’s song picturisation in which the lead pair (in this case Dev Anand and Shakila) watch the performance from sidelines.  Shamshad Begum passed away recently. It was a sad irony that I greeted  her on her birthday, April 14, with her song Mere piya gaye Rangoon, hoping that I would be wishing her on many more birthdays, and within 10 days she was no more.  Boojh mera kya gaon re again represents the spirit of joy she epitomised with her songs.  Let us pay a tribute to her with this song.

 

3. Suno re suno re…miyan mera bada beimaan by S Balbir and Geeta Dutt from Ek Saal (1957), lyrics Prem Dhavan, music Ravi

No list of Minoo Mumtaz is complete without her comic songs with Johnny Walker, whom Minoo Mumtaz remembers with great fondness. It is difficult to choose one from several available on the net. This one is full of life as a street performers’ song where the lead pair Ashok Kumar and Madhubala are among the bystanders and they are pulled by the dancers to join them in the fun.

 

4. Gora rang chunariya kali, motiyon wali ki dil mera loot liya by Rafi and Asha Bhosle from Howrah Bridge (1958), lyrics Qamar Jalalabadi, music OP Nayyar

This is the duet between Mehmood and Minoo Mumtaz which raised the hackles of the then conservative society. Even for the highly prudish, there does not seem to be anything objectionable in this bhangra between brother and sister, which is commonplace today in wedding functions. Mehmood and Minoo Mumtaz are delightful and spontaneous, as she so fondly remembered.

 

5. Aye ho to dekh lo duniya zara, jeene walo le lo jeene ka maza by Suman Kalyanpur from Chirag Kahan Roshni Kahan (1959), lyrics Prem Dhavan, music Ravi

Minoo Mumtaz is great with party dancing songs. Here she is celebrating the birthday of her pet cat (as mentioned on the YouTube), in one of her significant films in which she had the second lead opposite Rajendra Kumar.

 

6. Kadam bahke bahke jiya dhadak jaye by Lata Mangeshkar from Bank Manager (1959), lyrics Indivar, music Madan Mohan

Bank Manager is significant for two terrific songs on her – Saba se ye kah do by Asha Bhosle, and Kadam bahke bahke jiya dhadak jaye by Lata Mangeshkar. Great composition by Madan Mohan. I can see Asha Bhosle fans choosing Saba se ye kah do, but my favourite is the Lata Mangeshkar song.

 

7. Main tumhi se poochhati hun by Lata Mangeshkar from Black Cat (1959), lyrics Jaan Nisar Akhtar, music N Datta

Among her films as a heroine, this song is my special favourite. One is used to seeing her as a mujra dancer, but as the heroine lip synching this song, as also another sweet song in this film – Sitare raah takte hain chale aao chale aao – she looks very convincing.

 

8. Janu janu re khae khanke hai tora kanganaa by Asha Bhosle and Geeta Dutt from Insaan Jaag Utha (1959), lyrics Shailendra, music SD Burman

This is another song which is a special favourite of Minoo Mumtaz. In this song she acts opposite Madhubala, the two sahelis teasing each other about their love affairs.

 

9. Dil ki kahani rang layi hai by Asha Bhosle from Chaudahvi Ka Chand (1960), lyrics Shakeel Badayuni, music Ravi

Chadahvi Ka Chand is among films in which there was more than one outstanding song picturised on Minoo Mumtaz – Bedardi mere sainyan and Dil ki kahani rang layi hai, both among the greatest mujras. This one leaves Guru Dutt speechless.

 

10. Jane jana yun na dekho by Asha Bhosle from Faulad (1963), lyrics Anjaan, music GS Kohli

Minoo Mumtaz mentioned about her dream of working opposite Dara Singh. She could not recollect the name of the film, but here her dream is fulfilled, in which she is seen seducing Dara Singh (?).

 

Note: BG Horniman (Mumtaz Ali’s foster father?)

HornimanI believe Horniman Sahib whom Minoo Mumtaz and AJ referred to was this Englishman who is described in this picture as a ‘well-wisher of India’ and the editor of ‘Bombay Chronicle’.  There is plenty of material on him on the net, but none that I could find which gave Mumtaz Ali connection.  He was an Englishman, but a sympathiser of the Nationalist Movement.  His reports on Jallianwalla Bagh massacre and criticism of the colonial government led to his deportation to England.  He later returned to India and ran the highly popular evening paper “Bombay Sentinel”.  He died in Bombay in 1948.  A large park in South Bombay has been named ‘Horniman Cirlce’ in his honour.

 

Acknowledgment: I am grateful to imagesofasia.com  for permission to use the image of BG Horniman.

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Subodh Agrawal April 26, 2013 at 4:25 pm

What a treasure AK! I envy you this encounter with her and her son. I am glad, though, that it was you and not I who was so lucky. I wouldn’t have been able to preserve the memory of these two meetings in the wonderful way you have done. Congratulations. The collection of songs too is excellent. My favourites being ‘Main tumhin se poochhti hoon’ and ‘Janu janu ri’.

2 Anu Warrier April 26, 2013 at 5:42 pm

This is an unexpected (and pleasant) surprise, AK. What a nice read. And the video clips were the icing on the cake. Thank you so much. (I hope you emailed this to both AJ and Minoo Mumtaz!)

Happy Birthday, Minoo Mumtaz.

3 Arunkumar Deshmukh April 26, 2013 at 8:06 pm

AK Ji,

Thanks for this JACK POT here.
It was very clever of you to have taken the right steps with AJ to end up with this wonderful piece.
I am very glad to read about the most authentic version of her life and I must thank you for sharing it with us.
great job !
-AD

4 mumbaikar8 April 26, 2013 at 8:23 pm

AK,
Fascinating feature, it make us feel, like, we are a part of the trip to Canada and the meeting with Minoo Mumtaz.
She has so many beautiful songs in her bag.
I would not choose one of “bank manager’s” song over other, both songs are equally sweet for me.
Joining you in wishing Minoo Mumtaz Happy Birthday.

5 n.venkataraman April 26, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Akji,
Congratulations for yet another interesting article. Thanks for sharing your visit and conversation with Minoo Mumtaz and her son.

Spent a nice entertaining evening listening to the songs. You have covered all the female playback singers of the period. The song from Black Cat was the best of the lot. Needless to say Lata Mangeshkar’s rendition was superb. In song #8, there is little to choose between Geeta Dutt and Asha Bhosle. Another good song. I also liked the song #9. On the whole a nice selection of songs.
Let me also join you in wishing Minoo Mumtaz a very Happy Birthday.

6 rangoli April 26, 2013 at 11:30 pm

happy birthday Meenu ji.thanks for the lovely article. its a treasure! surely Meenuji must be having lots of interesting trivia regarding her co stars.would love to hear more.

7 AK April 27, 2013 at 9:52 am

Subodh, Anu, Arunji, Mumbaikar8, Vankataramanji, Rangoli
Thanks for your appreciation. I think we all get to come acorss in our lives many interesting people and situations. I was lucky to meet both AJ and Minooji. In the age of technology, you do not need to lug any equipment for recording. The phone does a pretty good job. As you have noticed, both of them are highly articulate. Minooji has a very spontaneous and innocent sense of humour. You can just imagine she is talking to you: “Bahut dance hua , ab mujhe role chahiye” or Lo Bhaijan, ho gayi chhutti, ab se hum sirf bhai bahan ka role karenge, without any script or preparation.

Considering the time difference betwen Canada and India, I waited for a convenient time to call them. I spoke to both of them some time back, conveying our greetings and best wishes. They were away from home, so they have not been able to see this post. I am sure they would like it.

8 ASHOK M VAISHNAV April 27, 2013 at 1:15 pm

वाकई, आज हमें (भी) नींद न आयेगी.

Indeed, such chances are indeed so rare. As we join in wishing Minoo Mumtaz a very happy birthday and a long happy life, I would also record my hearty appreciation for the way you have been able to capture and re-present the emotional nuances of the ‘chance’ meeting(s).

I have a few more songs to present:

Aaja Milke Chale Wahan – Ghar Ghar Ki Baat – Kalayanji Anandji –
Manna Dey, Lata Mangeshkar – http://youtu.be/n3aVpdiauV0 or a
comedy sequence song from the same – Uparwale Ne Jaldi Men Likh
Di Meri Taqdeer- http://youtu.be/AmKCUQIwd5Y

Dhake Ki Malmal Mangana Balam Ji- Dushman – Husnlal Bhagatram – Asha Bhosle – http://youtu.be/By-NIN9w0jU

Nain Hamare DO ..- Mr,Qartoon – O P Nayyar – Asha Bhosle – http://youtu.be/ZGJRg-E02h4

Thodi Der Ke Liye Mere Ho Jao – Akeli Mat Jaiyo – Madan Mohan – Asha Bhosle – http://youtu.be/7iSI3prhcno
or Yeh Cycle Ka Chakkar- Mohammad Rafi, Asha Bhosle – http://youtu.be/WzqBvz_mGlE

Shabab Aane Se Pehle – Karigar – C Ramachandra – Mrs. Chand Agrawal(?) – http://youtu.be/Lvzobxoys50

Tumhari Kasam Tum Bahut Yaad Aaye – Gaban – Shanker Jaikishan – Lata Mangeshkar – http://youtu.be/FFCD3pIXOqI

Muhammad Shah Rangeele – Nadir Shah – S N Tripathi – Suman Kalyanpur- http://youtu.be/weHwQzEMg-k

Aankh Milakar Waar Karungi- Kala Admi- Dattaram – Suman Kalyanpur – http://youtu.be/9HMhza9MpCg

And a few more songs with Jhonny Walker –

Minoo Mumtaz in a roothana-manana ‘THE romantic’ sequence in Dil To Kisi Ko Doge – http://youtu.be/uAVmf_cP_4E in Ek Saal .

Main Hoon Mister Johny -Mai Baap O P Nayyar – http://youtu.be/oTyQxkytHkY

Yahan Bhi To Nahin Hain – Preet Na Jaane Reet – Kalyanji Anandji – Moahammad Rafi and Kamal Barot http://youtu.be/QB6Zx8v4edg

9 Naresh P. Mankad April 27, 2013 at 3:41 pm

AKji, you have once again come up with a very intresting post. Persons like Minoo Mumtaz can open up treasure of interesting and unknown information on Hindi films. She was very lucky to sing on screen some of the best songs of Hindi film music. As you observe rightly, both AJ and Minooji are very articulate. AJ also has many traits of Mehood, the facial features and the articulation.

10 dustedoff April 27, 2013 at 8:18 pm

How I envy you, AK! This was a fabulous, really engrossing post, and it’s so wonderful to see and hear Minoo Mumtaz. She has always been a favourite of mine (CID was the first film I ever remember having watched, so Boojh mera kya naam re is very much a part of my early childhood memories of cinema). You are so lucky – and resourceful, too, I must admit – to have been able to meet her.

I love the songs you’ve linked to (and one, in particular, which you’ve mentioned – Saaqiya aaj mujhe neend nahin aayegi). I am among those die-hard fans of Saba se yeh keh do (not because of a Lata-Asha divide, but just because I love that song) and another which Ashokji has mentioned, Thodi der k liye mere ho jaao. There are some more lovely ones picturised on her – Jab-jab tumhe bhulaaya (Jahanara), Hum-tum jise kehta hai shaadi (Kaagaz ke phool), and Dekho ji dekho meethi ada se (Mai Baap) are among my favourites.

Thanks again for this. And, happy birthday, Minoo Mumtaz!

11 Mohammad Zaheeruddin (Zaheer) April 28, 2013 at 1:34 pm

I wish Minoo Mumtaz a very happy belated birthday, and best wishes for her health and happiness. I came to know through a mutual friend who knew her as well as her brother Mehmood sahab, that she is presently living in Canada, as I myself do. I wish her and all of them my best wishes.

12 AK April 29, 2013 at 12:39 am

Ashokji,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation. There seems to be some serious problem with YT, I do not know if it is localised or is everywhere. Most of the songs seem to be new for me, so I would be very keen to listen to them. But thanks for your effort to unearth so many more songs on Minoo Mumtaz.

Nareshji,
Thanks a lot. I think the post is interesting because both AJ and Minoo Mumtaz are such interesting people.

Madhu (Dustedoff),
Thanks a lot for your kind words. Meeting AJ just happened. Meeting Minoo Mumtaz came about because I guess I was patient, and not in a hurry to complete my post. But yes, I was indeed fortunate to be able to talk to her at leisure, and now I can also have pretensions that I had my moment as a journalist. 🙂

Saqiya aaj mujhe need nahi ayegi would be at the top of my Minoo Mumtaz favourites, but I have used it earlier in my favorite Asha Bhosle songs. Saba se ye kah do is surely a lovely song on its own. Rest of the songs came in based on our conversation and my own favourites. I guess the ones I have put here represent all facets of Minoo Mumtaz’s work.

Mohammad Zaheeruddin,
Welcome to SoY. I have noted your correct email id.

13 harvey April 29, 2013 at 2:36 am

Now this is a great surprise, AK!
It was so great to see Minoo Mumtaz and hear her talk! The last I saw her was in a rerun of a 70s serial from Bombay DD in the 80s. Didn’t she work in a TV serial in the 80s too?

Such a sweetness in voice and person. It was really a good idea to make a video of her introducing herself and talking a few words about it. And it was also nice to see her son. He also comes across as a pleasant person!

Thank you AK!

One of her lesser known songs, which I like is shabab aane se pehle from Karigar

14 AK April 29, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Harvey,
Thanks. I am not aware of her working in TV serials. I would ask them.

The song from Karigar is awesome! I find the name of the singer as Mrs Chand Agrawal. I often wonder how such good songs remain hidden.

15 Hans April 29, 2013 at 4:36 pm

First, a few songs. The first one is perhaps the first song picturised on Minoo Mumtaz. It is not known if there was any song on her in Sakhi Hatim, because no videos are available and she has not claimed for one in that film, in her interview with AK. So, this might be the first and in this at the age of 13 she shows a lot of talent in facing the camera. The third one is perhaps her most famous dance song.

1.Dil humse wo lagaye (Baraadari – 1955) – Lata, Mubarak
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJb8f9YNp_I

2.Teri gali kaise aaun sajna (Pocket Maar – 1956) – Lata
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTiQO4rAAjo

3.Reshmi salwar kurta jali ka (Naya Daur – 1957) – Asha, Shamshad
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQQDlClWaSA

4.Ghir ke barsen ye ghatayen (Do Roti – 1957) – Geeta, Rafi
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jsh5Rm98j78

16 AK April 30, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Hans,
You have added some really nice songs picturised on Minoo Mumtaz. Dil hums wo lagaye jo hans ke beer khaye is also my special favorite. You are right this could very well be her very first, or definitely one of her first songs. This song came in for some special mention earlier on my blog while discussing the best music directors of 1955.

17 AJAZ ALI (AJ) May 1, 2013 at 7:56 am

On behalf of my mother Minoo Mumtaz, I would like to thank you AK saab and all those who have wished her on her birthday!! The post is amazing. Please let me know when you are in Toronto, it will be my pleasure to host you,

18 AK May 1, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Thanks a lot AJ for dropping by, and thanks a lot for your very gracious invitation. I should reciprocate the same thing, when you are in this part of the world.

As you have seen, your mother has a large body of admirers. It is my privilege to be instrumental in some measure to refresh her memory.

Harvey (comment #13) has mentioned about her appearing in TV serials in Mumbai in the 70s and 80s. Perhaps you could clarify.

19 Kay Dee May 28, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Thanks for the piece on Minoo Mumtaz! I have been wondering for many years what happened to this very very talented dancer. May I point out one of her BEST dances which has not been mentioned by her : Jab Jab Tumhe Bhulaya Tum Aur Yaad Aye from Jahan Ara. I would like her to know that I watch that on Youtube again and again! So please pass on this message.
Can you also tell us what happened to the other good dancer, Kumkum?

20 Dr.s.k.soni August 7, 2013 at 10:04 pm

A.k.saheb,
Thanks a lot.kya khub kam kiya hai apne.main bahut dino
se Minoo Ji ke vartman ke bare me janana chahta tha.
Apki site par ye sab mil gaya.vidios hai -minoo Ji se bat chit hai.
Vah sahab .Shukriya-Apne to mahfil loot li.
Aap ka Minoo Ji se milna-Unke bete se milna-sab kuch filmy patkatha
Jesa.bahut khoob.Badhai aur apke agle Bomb ka intajar.

21 AK August 7, 2013 at 11:16 pm

Kay Dee,
Jab jab tumhein bhulaya is indeed a wonderful Lata Mangeshkar-Asha Bhosle duet with terrific dance by Minoo Mumtaz and Aruna Irani. Kum Kum is another great dancer. I have no idea of her present status, but I am sure a lot of material must be available on the net.

Dr SK Soni,
Thanks a lot. I am happy you like this piece. I am sure you would be following my other articles on this blog. My interest is primarily old film music.

22 lekha February 19, 2015 at 12:11 am

All I want to sayis “Jaane kahan gaye woh din’ when music, songs & dances were so good…most of my time goes reading about great yesteryear stars…& watching their work..god bless Minooji

23 ksbhatia February 25, 2015 at 11:57 pm

Enjoyed going thru the various inputs by the learned members of SOY family. All the songs and dance numbers enacted by Minoo mumtaz ji are treasure to recall and enjoy . Minoo ji marked her presence felt along with the main cast and was really a story pusher of the movies she acted in . Films Yahudi and Aasha is coming in my mind . While she was perfect in indian classic dance; she was equally at ease in modern western dance numbers . Eena meena deeka is the one i am refering to wherein she was to do a fast number with kishore kumar and she excelled in that song !

24 Dilip Apte October 10, 2015 at 6:14 am

It was truly fascinating reading about Minoo Mumtaz . She along with Nazima had never faded from my memory and with the very limited knowledge of internet- had tried to search them too Had always liked her acting and dancing.
As far as I am concerned- Minoo Mumtaz and Nazima were heroine material and did not get a fair deal

25 AK October 10, 2015 at 9:08 am

Dilip Apte,
Welcome to SoY. I am happy you enjoyed it. It is very difficult to say if they could compete with big ones like Meena Kumari etc. There is not much room at the top.

26 Vasudevan October 10, 2015 at 12:52 pm

What a wonderful collection of songs of minoo mumtaz ,that fabulous dancer and artist .. got dwarfed by her famous brother late mehmood.. As a school going child , I have seen all her films.. Nostalgia ,,enjoyed .. Many thanks

27 Vasudevan October 10, 2015 at 12:53 pm

Many thanks .. too good

28 AK October 10, 2015 at 7:37 pm

Mr Vasudevan,
Welcome to SoY and thanks a lot for your appreciation.

29 Ravindra Kelkar October 13, 2015 at 5:22 pm

AKji,
I read your post today, after noticing the link you had given in your latest post of Mumtaz Ali. It’s a very nice post. It was wonderful to read about Minoo Mumtaz after so many years & to know that she is happily settled. The “live” videos were great. I think you are a very gifted individual, to have the required patience as well as diplomatic skills to accomplish such feats.
A few overall observations-
1)The MD for Faulad(song no 10) was GS Kohli-OP’s assistant, it’s not OP. Of course OP’s influence on the song is not really surprising for obvious reasons.
2)Songs no 3 & 5 are quite ordinary. I am sure there were better songs available. I would have posted the song – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hip6IND_kA, as a show case song with Johnny Walker.
3)The song no 6 – Kadam Behke(Lata) from Bank Manager is very ordinary. The Asha song(Saba Se Yeh Keh Do) is way better. The Lata song, I don’t remember having heard before, & don’t think will care to listen again. It’s quite funny, I feel the Asha song was more suitable to Lata & the Lata song was more suitable to Asha. What made Madan Mohan think exactly opposite will remain a mystery forever. Madan Mohan seems to be totally confused about this song. The mukhda has a stamp of SJ & the interludes have a stamp of OP. The Asha song is so much better that I was reminded of your quiz in the blogpost of Asha with Naushad & CR-reluctant MDs. Obviously with roles reversed.

30 AK October 13, 2015 at 9:43 pm

Ravindra Kelkar,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation, and the correction. Choice of songs is obviously a very subjective matter. I could not claim that my selection comprises the best songs, my aim was to have a representative selection.

You make some very interesting observations on swapping of Asha Bhosle and Lata Mangeshkar, and MM being in two minds. But if you suggest he too was a ‘reluctant’ composer for Asha Bhosle, probably that is not correct. Naushad and CR were very monochromatic, but I would put MM (and Roshan) belonging more to SD Burman school in terms of diversity of singers.

31 Ravindra Kelkar October 13, 2015 at 10:21 pm

AKji,
I am not suggesting MM was a ‘reluctant’ composer for Asha. I referred to the post because, in the comments on that posed you had opened a quiz- which song is better, off hand I recall Asha vs Talat for “Ae Game Dil Kya Karoo”, Asha vs Mahendra (Dil Lagakar Hum Ye Samaze”,etc. Total 5 questions & all the questions were heaviliy loaded against anybody prefering Asha over the other choice. Here I think the roles are reversed with respect to the Asha song – Saba se Jo Keh de Vs the Lata song you have selected. The shoe is in the other foot here. The Asha song is way better than Lata. So anybody saying the Lata song is better means……..you know what.

32 AK October 14, 2015 at 5:46 am

Ravindra Kelkar,
Thanks for the clarification.

33 Anant Desai October 18, 2015 at 3:43 am

AK-ji,
I just saw this post. What a treat. I grew up on VJTI campus in Mumbai next to Panch Bagicha. I remember seeing Mehmood at a wedding of one of his sister or cousin at Palamkot Hall on Panch Bagicha. It was in the late fifties. At that time someone said it was wedding of Minoo Mumtaz, but that cannot be since she married in 1963.
Great songs and a great treat. Brought back memories of my childhood.

34 AK October 18, 2015 at 10:29 am

Anand Desai,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation. One finds you have been off SoY. Work?

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